Dolores has been a leading figure in the hearing healthcare sector for the past 27 years, having first qualified as an accountant technician (MIATI) and then studying audiology and qualifying as an Audiologist (ISHAA, MSHAA) in 2002.
She has worked across all aspects of the business within Hidden Hearing, serving as Operations Manager for 4 years. For six years she was Branch Manager/Senior Audiologist for the Cork Branch, and Team Leader for six audiologists in the Southern Region.
A leading media commentator on hearing loss issues, Dolores Madden planned and implemented Hearing Awareness Week. Running since 2007, this annual event has significantly raised the issue of hearing loss on Ireland’s health agenda.
She also launched the Hidden Hearing Heroes awards scheme in 2011, a CSR initiative to recognise unsung heroes in communities across Ireland.
Find Out More About Dolores
Sleep apnea is a complex condition in which oxygen becomes restricted, leading to heavy snoring, gasping and waking during sleep, causing fatigue and exhaustion during waking hours. It can be highly disruptive to the body, and research suggests that it may also increase the risk of hearing loss in sufferers.
Hearing loss can, amongst other causes, be the result of a disease in the blood vessels that supply the inner ear. Sleep apnea is known to raise the body’s level of inflammatory proteins, which causes arteries to thicken and harden, so it is likely that sleep apnea may increase the risk of hearing impairment as well.
Sleep Apnea And Hearing Loss: The Facts
- Sleep apnea impacts on hearing in different ways. Research shows that sleep apnea is linked with hearing impairments that compromise hearing at high and low frequencies, suggesting an important correlation that warrants further investigation. A key study from the United States found that individuals who live with sleep apnea were 31% more likely to experience high frequency hearing loss, and 90% more likely to experience low frequency hearing loss. There was a 38% increased risk of hearing loss where high and low frequencies were both affected.
- Sleep apnea is known to cause health complications. There are several serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, which may be caused by sleep apnea. These conditions also show a high correlation with hearing loss, suggesting that further research in this area is important.
- Men are more likely to be affected by sleep apnea. Like hearing loss, sleep apnea is a condition that is more likely to affect men. Statistics show that men with sudden sensorineural hearing loss are more likely to have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea than their peers who do not have hearing loss. During studies, researchers have also seen significantly higher rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease within the group with sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
- Certain people are at higher risk of sleep apnea. People over 40 are more likely to experience sleep apnea, especially men. Individuals who are overweight, especially those with large necks, are likely to have higher rates of the condition, and large tonsils and tongues or small jawbones also present a higher risk.
- Sleep apnea is not always obvious. Sufferers of sleep apnea do not always realise that they have the condition, but early symptoms include waking with a dry or sore throat many times during the night, snoring, insomnia or restlessness. Waking up with a headache, or feeling fatigued during the day can also be signs of sleep apnea.
If you think that you may have sleep apnea, you should speak to your doctor, who may prescribe a sleep study to confirm the condition. Sleeping on your side, losing weight if you are overweight, and ceasing to smoke and drink alcohol can dramatically improve your condition.
Book A Free Hearing Check-Up at Hidden Hearing
If you think you may have hearing loss, it is a good idea to visit an audiologist as soon as possible to find out the extent of the problem. Our friendly team will work with you to establish whether you have hearing loss and to find the very best hearing solutions for your and your lifestyle.
Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics. Simply contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch